Charity in driving seat for 30 years

Hartlepool Advanced Motorists (left to right) Ronnie Westmoreland, Andy Abernethy, Ron Collings, Rachel Mincher, Graeme Smith and Ged O'Hare

Hartlepool Advanced Motorists (left to right) Ronnie Westmoreland, Andy Abernethy, Ron Collings, Rachel Mincher, Graeme Smith and Ged O'Hare

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THE Hartlepool branch of a nationwide driving charity is celebrating after reaching its 30th anniversary.

Hartlepool Advanced Motorists is run by a group of 40 experienced drivers, passionate about motoring, who aim to improve standards of driving.

Over the years the group has helped hundreds of Hartlepool residents pass their advanced driving tests.

Ged O’Hare, who has been chairman of the Hartlepool Branch since October last year, said everyone involved is very proud to reach the milestone.

“Thirty years is a very long time, especially when it was only started by a group of advanced drivers in Hartlepool who wanted to help people in their home town.”

The advanced motorists in Hartlepool help drivers who have passed their test but feel the need to improve their driving.

Drivers pay an initial fee to the Institute of Advanced Motorists and then receive the expert support of the voluntary advanced drivers.

People do need to use their own car and fuel, but Ged said it’s a great opportunity for people to ensure they are driving safely.

Ged, 57, who lives in Westerdale Road, in Seaton Carew, added: “Our support helps people of all ages.

“The youngest we have had is a 17-year old girl who was a very good driver. But we also help pensioners who have maybe lost a bit of confidence with their driving.

“All the advanced motorists at the club have a real passion for what we do. The training we use is based on a five-point system which offers a safe way of dealing with hazards.

“As drivers we have to obey the rules of the land and for us it’s just a case of people realising how important it is to drive safely and to drive well.”